Established over 30 years ago, the team at Balaclava Veterinary Surgery is committed to providing the highest level of professional service and care for your pet. Our team recognises the significance of your pets and the place they hold in your family and is dedicated to providing the highest standard of care for your pets. Our highly qualified Veterinarians Dr Max Fargher, Dr Jason Pollard and Dr Akihiro Matsui bring a combined veterinary experience of over 60 years. Prior to joining Balaclava Veterinary Surgery, Dr Max Fargher has worked in mixed animal practice since 1990, as well as owning a small animal practice and completing several courses of further education. Dr Jason Pollard was a Veterinary Director at two large veterinary hospital groups and Dr Akihiro Matsui holds a doctoral degree in Veterinary Medicine. Our team has experiences and interests in internal medicine, orthopaedic and soft tissue and laporoscopic surgeriesanimal behaviour, and more.  Our animal health care team will offer education, advice and care to ensure your pet has the longest, happiest and healthiest life possible. We treat cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rats, mice and birds. Find out more about us by booking a hospital tour or bring your pet to meet our team at anytime.

Meet Our Team
Dr Max Fargher
Vet

Max graduated from the University of Queensland in 1990. Immediately working in mixed practice in Darwin and small animal practice in Brisbane before coming to Cairns in February of 1993 and opening his own small animal practice in Brinsmead in 1997 after a short stint at being a mobile vet in Cairns and surrounds.

During this time Max has completed many courses of further education in dermatology, opthalmology, emergency medicine, laparoscopy, advanced surgical and orthopaedic techniques, dentistry, ultrasonography, practice management, advanced care of tick paralysis patients, feline medicine and surgery, abdominal surgery, thoracic medicine and cardiology.  

From this training Max has developed special interests and skills in all aspects of orthopaedic surgery enabling him to provide state of the art care for patients with broken bones and in particular cruciate ligament injuries, the commonest form of hindlimb lameness in dogs. Through Max's special training in laporoscopy, at Balaclava we can now offer keyhole surgery for chest and abdominal investigations as well as nasal and ear scope examinations.

Dermatology, opthalmology, dentistry and soft tissue surgery are other areas Max has developed a keen interest and skills in.

Away from work Max enjoys spending time with his wife, four children, cockatiel, Chihuahua and greyhound. His hobbies revolve around personal fitness (having completed the Pyramid race three times) and home renovations. 

Dr Jason Pollard
Vet
  • BVSc (Hons)

Jason graduated with honours from the University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science December 1991. Following graduation he worked in a busy small animal practice located in the western suburbs of Sydney for a few years, providing care for many breeding dogs and cats which needed caesareans in the middle of the night.

Jason moved to the eastern suburbs of Sydney and purchased his first vet practice at Matraville in 1994. This was a small one vet and one nurse clinic at that stage, but it quickly grew to be one of the largest hospitals in Sydney. Jason developed his surgical and medical skills enabling him to perform complex soft tissue and orthopaedic procedures. Jason also has a keen interest in internal medicine and has lectured in Australia and Internationally for Idexx Laboratories on clinical pathology and medicine.

In 2005 Jason and two non-vet partners established the first Vetfriends hospital in Chatswood which grew to have 13 hospitals. Jason was the Veterinary Director in charge of these hospitals overseeing medical and surgical standards and performing complex surgical procedures on a referral basis.

In 2015 Jason left Sydney and headed to Melbourne for family reasons. He continued part time veterinary work providing surgical expertise in a busy eastern suburbs practice in Melbourne. In 2018 Jason, invited by Dr Max Fargher (a close friend of over 30 years) moved permanently to Cairns and became the Veterinary Director of Greencross Vets Earlville, until his move to Balaclava Vets January 2019.

Jason lives in Kamerunga with a friend and two dogs Pepper and Phoebe. In his spare time Jason enjoys bush walking, diving and fishing. Jason also loves cooking (in the kitchen or on the BBQ) and spending time with close friends especially Dr Max!

Dr Akihiro Matsui
Vet
  • DVM
  • BVetBioSc

Akihiro joined Balaclava Vet Surgery in May 2016. Originally from Tokyo, Japan, he moved to Gold Coast, Australia when he was 12 years old after meeting with beautiful people and wildlife while he was travelling around Australia with his family. He completed his undergraduate degree in Veterinary Bioscience, and went on to earn his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Adelaide. By the time of graduation he missed good-old tropical atmosphere which led him to fly back to Queensland.

Akihiro has a golden retriever named Chance and a three-legged cat, who was carried into Balaclava Vet Surgery as a stray cat after getting hit by a car, named Taiga. He is also an exotic animal enthusiast, in which his 3 snakes and over 20 aquarium tanks keeps him busy during his free time.

Caitlin
Practice Manager

Caitlin has been a Veterinary Nurse since 2008 and a Practice Manager since 2014. She is originally from Newcastle and moved to Cairns in 2013. She absolutely loves her Maine Coon, Crowley (even when he does not want to return the love) and her 2 goof ball dogs, Ronnie the Catahoula and Trigger the German Shepherd.

In her spare time Caitlin loves to knit, sew, and go four-wheel driving, camping and fishing with her family.

Angela
Vet Nurse

Angela joined Balaclava Veterinary Surgery in 2013, previously working as a medical receptionist for 20 years at a doctor’s surgery. Being a Veterinary Nurse was a passion to be achieved for her where age had no barriers. Angela has completing her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing and has a keen interest in increasing her knowledge in animal behaviour to help clients to achieve a happy and healthy relationship with their pet. She runs the puppy classes which are fun and provide a wealth of information for the clients.

After work Angela's time is taken up with her menagerie which include two dogs, Matilda and Max, Napoleon the goose, as well as ducks and chickens.

Annabel
Vet Nurse

Annabel completed her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing in 2018. She recently joined our Balaclava Vet team and absolutely loves her job. She owns two beautiful cats, and in her spare time she enjoys watching movies and trying out new places to eat.

Evie
Senior Vet Nurse
Courtney
Senior Vet Nurse
Nikita
Vet Nurse

Nikita has joined the Balaclava Vet team in June 2019 and is absolutely loving her job! Nikita has a passion for all animals with fur, scales and feathers, and owns 5 cats, 3 dogs, snakes, frillneck lizards and her main man, Lexius the Eclectus parrot.

Nikita also has two beautiful children, Jayden and Rachel who both also enjoy her passion for animals. In her spare time Nikita loves to catch up with her friends and enjoys quality family time cooking and baking with her children.

Brittany
Vet Nurse
Emma
Trainee Vet Nurse

Emma joined us at Balaclava Vet Surgery as Trainee Veterinary Nurse in September 2018. She is currently studying to become a veterinary nurse and loving every second of it! She is passionate and excited about every opportunity to learn and prosper in this industry.

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